The Hazards of Plastic Garbage in Our Ecosystem: Making a Change
Approximately 300,000 animals die every year due to plastic pollution, whether it is due to ingestion or becoming entangled in some sort of garbage in their natural habitat. According to a report released by the United Nations, there are about 46,000 pieces of plastic per every one square mile of ocean on Earth. In fact, plastic particles outnumber live plankton 36 to 1, an issue that is obliterating the fragile ecosystems of our planet.
What Can We Do to Stop It?
If our behaviors as a human society fail to change in a significant way, we will be forced to endure a future in which our world continues to die around us, leaving no legacy for our descendants here on Earth. When the planet’s oceans and rivers are clogged with plastic and garbage that never biodegrades, where will our children and grandchildren find fresh water or food? If this message strikes a chord with you and you’re ready to make a change, there are some things you can do now. Try reducing your personal waste in the following ways:
- Switch to reusable grocery bags rather than plastic
- Buy foods in bulk when possible to cut down on packaging waste
- Store foods in glass containers instead of in disposable containers or bags
- Recycle and reuse any plastic grocery bags you already have
- Take papers, cans, and plastics to your nearest recycling plant regularly
- Buy a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones
Did you know that Americans alone discard approximately half a billion water bottles every week? This unnecessary level of waste is exemplified in our oceans, streams, rivers, and lakes all over the world. Even plastics that claim to be biodegradable have been found to leave remnants in water samples taken from our oceans, eliminating them as a viable alternative. What we really need is heightened awareness and action from people not only in America, but from around the world.
Be Aware, Be Active
Though you may not think that these simple changes will make any kind of lasting difference, the truth is that it’s the only thing that will ultimately aid in securing the future of our planet. Learning how to live sustainably and with less waste is critical to a healthier life for everyone on Earth. Spread the word and see the ripple effect that awareness can have on the ecosystems that support us.